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118 THE FAKENHAM GHOST.
Or hast thy good-woman, if one thou hast,
Ever here in Cornwall been?
She has drank of the well of St. Keyne.
I have left a good woman who never was here,
The stranger he made reply, But that my draught should be better for that,
I pray you answer me why.
St. Keyne, quoth the countryman, many a time
Drank of this chrystal well,
She laid on the water a spell.
If the husband of this gifted well ,
Shall drink before his wife,
For he shall be master for life.
But if the wife should drink of it first—■'
God help the husband then! The stranger stoop'd to the well of St. Keyne,
And drank of the water again.
You drank of the well, I warrant, betimes?
He to the countryman said; But the countryman sinil'd as the stranger spake,
And sheepishly shook his head.
I hasten'd as soon as the wedding was done,
And left my wife in the porch; •
For she took a bottle to church.
THE FAKENHAM GHOST.
The lawns were dry in Euston Park;
THE FAKENHAM GHOST. 119
The lonely foot-path still and dark,
Benighted was an ancient dame,
And fearful haste she made To gain the vale of Fakenham,
And hail its willow shade.
Her footsteps knew no idle stops,
But follow'd faster still;
That whisper'd on the hill.
Where clam'rous rooks, yet scarcely hush'd,
Bespoke a peopled shade;
And hov'ring circuits made.
The dappled herd of grazing deer
That sought the shades by day, Now started from her path with fear,
And gave the stranger way.
Darker it grew ; and darker fears
Came o'er her troubled mind;
Come patting close behind.
She turn'd ; it stopt!—nought could she see
Upon the gloomy plain
She heard the same again.
Now terror seiz'd her quaking frame:
For, where the path was bare,
She mutter'd many a prayer.
Yet once again, amidst her fright,
120 THE FAKENHAM GHOST.
When through the cheating glooms of night A Monster stood in view.
Regardless of whate'er she felt,
It followed down the plain!
And said her prayers again.
Then on she sped ; and hope grew strong,
The white park gate in view;
That ghost and all pass'd through.
Loud fell the gate against the post!
Her h< art-strings like to crack: For much she fear'd the grisly ghost
Would leap upon her back.
Still on, pat, pat, the goblin went,
As it had done before;
She fainted at the door.
Out came her husband, much surprised:
Out came her daughter dear; Good-natur'd Souls! all unadvis'd
Of what they had to fear.
The candle's gleam piere'd through the night,
And there the little trotting sprite
An ass's foal had lost its dam
Within the spacious park; And, simple as the playful lamb,
Had follow'd in the dark.
No goblin he ; no imp of sin:
^ REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE. 121
They took the shaggy stranger in, *
And rear'd him as their own.
. - 'r "*"*.' His little hoofs woold rattle round
Upon the cottage floor:
The matron learn'd to love the sound,
That frightened her before.
A favourite the ghost became;
And 't was his fate to thrive: .
And long heliv'd, and spread his fame,
And kept the joke alive.'
For many a laugh went through the vale,
And some conviction too:— Each thought some other goblin tale, • Perhaps, was just as true.
REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE.
Between nose and eyes a strange contest arose^
The point in dispute was. as all the world knows,
So the tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
While chief baron ear sat to balance the laws,
In behalf of the nose, it will quickly appear,
That the nose has had spectacles always in wear,
122 CANUTE AND THE OCEAN.
Then, holding the spectacles up to the court— Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle,
As wide as the ridge of the nose is ; in short,
Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
That if the visage or countenance had not a nose, Pray who would or who could wear spectacles then?
On the whole it appears, and my argument shews, With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
That the spectacles plainly were made for the nose,
Then shifting his side as a lawyer knows how,
But what were his arguments few people know, For the court did not think they were equally wise.
So his lordship decreed, with a grave solemn tone,
That whenever the nose put his spectacles on,
CANUTE AND THE OCEAN.
Canute was by his nobles taught, to fancy,
He had the pow'r, old Ocean to controul;